Tags: Cancer | paul mccartney | george harrison | the beatles | cancer

Paul McCartney Opens Up About Late George Harrison's Cancer Battle

paul mccartney plays guitar onstage
Paul McCartney (Scott Audette/AP Photo)

By    |   Friday, 01 January 2021 12:02 PM

Paul McCartney is opening up about his final moments with George Harrison. Speaking in an NPR interview, which was revealed by Fox News, the 78-year-old rocker recalled being there for his former bandmate amid his cancer battle.

"We were in New York before he went to Los Angeles to die … We were sitting there, and I was holding his hand, and it occurred to me — I’ve never told this — I don’t want to hold George’s hand. You don’t hold your mate’s hands. I mean, we didn’t anyway," he said.

Harrison died on Nov. 29, 2001, from cancer at age 58. He had undergone treatment for a brain tumor and lung cancer, and according to news reports, stunned friends by revealing he expected to die soon.

"He has an indomitable spirit — but he knows that he is going to die soon and he is accepting that," said George Martin, the Beatles' longtime producer, at the time. McCartney recalled Harrison's frustration at traveling around trying to find a cure for his cancer.

"I remember he was getting a bit annoyed at having to travel all the time — chasing a cure," the Grammy winner said. "He’d gone to Geneva to see what they could do. Then he came to a special clinic in New York to see what they could do. Then the thought was to go to L.A. and see what they could do. He was sort of getting a bit, ‘Can’t we just stay in one place?’ And I said, ‘Yes, Speke Hall. Let’s go to Speke Hall.’"

It was a bitter-sweet moment for McCartney.

"That was one of the last things we said to each other, knowing that he would be the only person in the room who would know what Speke Hall was," he continued. "Anyway, the nice thing for me when I was holding George’s hands, he looked at me, and there was a smile."

Harrison is widely considered to be an overlooked talent in The Beatles. John Lennon and McCartney, who co-founded the band, were recognized as the principal songwriters but in an interview with Daily Mail earlier this year, McCartney said Harrison played a role in writing many songs but did not receive due credit.

"It was easy to underestimate George because me and John had always written most of the stuff," McCartney said. "But then he started to get interested — and boy did he bloom. He wrote some of the greatest songs ever."

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Paul McCartney is opening up about his final moments with George Harrison. Speaking in an NPR interview, which was revealed by Fox News, the 78-year-old rocker recalled being there for his former bandmate amid his cancer battle...
paul mccartney, george harrison, the beatles, cancer
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2021-02-01
Friday, 01 January 2021 12:02 PM
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